With the explosion of monthly subscription boxes, we’ve gotten uber picky about the ones we recommend. Especially subscription boxes for kids, since no one wants to give a lame birthday gift. Worth a look: the brand new Appleseed Lane monthly subscription boxes which embrace science as much as crafting.
Created by two smart and incredibly enthusiastic moms along with science and math teachers, the boxes feature STEM themes like Electricity & Circuits, Journey Into Space, Crime Scene Science, and Amazing Magnets–then ones that a little looser in their definition of science learning, like Halloween Science or the upcoming box, Sound & Music.
For $19.95 a month (with discounts for longer subscriptions) your child will get an impressively well-assembled, well-labeled, organized box that will put your own craft closet organization to shame. Or at least mine. It includes around four fun projects with super high quality (real Sharpies!) materials. You’ll have literally everything you need for each project, save for maybe scissors or table salt, which is so refreshing for those of us who don’t happen to have paper cups or copper wire lying around the house all the time.
A colorful pamphlet takes kids through the projects with clear illustrations, and booklets teach more about the theme of the box.
Now while the company promotes the boxes as being science kits, to be fair, I think that’s a stretch for some of them. To me, it brings to mind science lab kits which don’t tell kids exactly what to do and what the result will be, but allows them to experiment, sometimes fail, and draw their own conclusions along the way. These boxes are more like engaging craft projects and activities around science themes. So, clipping together cables and batteries to create a circuit that lights up is spot on. Decorating a paper telescope with stickers or putting a glow stick in a balloon to make a ghost–well, super fun. But not quite a science experiment.
Unless the kit had actually explained that glow sticks work by creating a chemical reaction when breaking the inner vial combines two chemicals and fluorescent dye. [CORRECTION: The booklet does explain this very thing--I breezed right past it. Mea culpa.]
Even so, I think kids will really enjoy them. My girls sure did. They’re designed for children four to ten, but I’d say by about third grade, a science-loving kid is probably ready for a littleBits set or MaKey MaKey. Appleseed Lane boxes are perfect for preschoolers and the early elementary set though, who will enjoy doing a lot of the projects (mostly) on their own. and that’s the age that it’s great to start getting kids enthusiastic about STEM.
Plus with so many projects in the box, you can save one for each weekend. By the time your kids have finished them all, a new subscription box will be on its way.
To get the most out of the projects, I’d highly suggest reading the booklets first so you can discuss the differences between the 8 planets in our solar system before trying to see them through the kids’ newly decorated telescopes. Then I’d hit the Internet or the library after for more at-home learning if your kid takes an interest in the theme.
For that reason, Appleseed Lane boxes are more than rainy day fun; they could be the first step toward raising the next generation of kids who realize that science is cool. Because it is.
Order monthly science subscription boxes for kids for For $19.95 a month plus shipping, with discounts for 6 or 12-month subscriptions at Appleseed Lane. Another great benefit: You can also order sibling kits for a little more, which includ materials for a second project, plus two of those very important completion stickers. It’s always about the stickers, isn’t it?